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Poland Supreme Court recognizes same-sex relationships for tenancy retention

The Polish Supreme Court [official website, in Polish] for the first time on Wednesday declared that same-sex partners living together will retain the same legal standing as heterosexual couples in regard to taking over a lease if their romantic partner with whom they were cohabiting should die. The court decision [Gazeta Prawna report, in Polish] resulted from a request by a lower appeals court to determine the law by interpreting a portion of the Polish Civil Code which allowed retained property rights for those who were in "cohabitation" with the lessee. The case centered on a man listed in case documents only as "Adam K." whose romantic partner of nine years had recently passed away. The owners of the apartment which the men shared were seeking to evict Adam claiming that his relationship gave him no legal standing to maintain the lease. Prior to this ruling the courts had only recognized spouses, children, or heterosexual partners as meeting the criteria of the code. The court has not yet offered its written judgment but expects to publish its reasoning soon.

Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] and correlated rights remain controversial around the world. Just this month Spain's Constitutional Court denied an appeal challenging the constitutionality of Spain's same-sex marriage law, the Slovakian parliament rejected a proposal recognizing same-sex marriage rights, and Malawi enacted a moratorium [JURIST reports] on laws preventing same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriages themselves are not recognized in any of Europe's former eastern-bloc states.

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